Award-winning Sri Lankan bar & restaurant group The Coconut Tree has announced a phased reopening schedule for all six sites across England and Wales.
The street food pioneers will reopen the Cardiff restaurant – the only one in Wales – on Wednesday 22nd July; in line with guidelines set out by the Welsh Government, this will be outdoor-only until the 3rd August.
In England, where indoor opening is already permitted, the Bournemouth restaurant will reopen on Friday 24th July; the Bristol Gloucester Road restaurant will reopen on Wednesday 29th July, with the Bristol Triangle restaurant also reopening, but for takeaways only.
The Oxford restaurant will reopen on Friday 31st July; and finally, the Cheltenham restaurant will reopen on Monday 3rd August.
In Cardiff, customers will be able to enjoy The Coconut Tree’s fresh Sri Lankan cuisine in two locations. They can make use of the restaurant’s existing outdoor seating on Mill Lane, a city centre location that has always been a destination for outdoor dining; or they can enjoy it in a specially created, communal dining area within the grounds of Cardiff Castle.
Via Cardiff-based mobile ordering platform Yoello, customers will be able to order The Coconut Tree’s dishes to be delivered to a designated dining area that has been created within the castle grounds.
Brand Director Anna Garrod said, “We’re delighted to be able to share our roadmap to reopening our sites, and can’t wait to welcome everyone back to our restaurants with some signature Sri Lankan hospitality. Cardiff will be our first reopening, and we’re really excited to be part of the new public dining area being created at Cardiff castle by the local council.
We have been working on some new recipes during lockdown, and can’t think of a better way to reveal them than with a Sri Lankan feast in the grounds of Cardiff castle!”
The Coconut Tree has also confirmed that it will be taking part in the UK Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme throughout August.
Before lockdown measures came into place across the UK, The Coconut Tree had been shortlisted for a clutch of regional and national awards, including Restaurant Magazine’s R200 Awards (Best UK Operator 2020), Bristol Life Awards (Best Restaurant 2020) and Cardiff Life Awards (Best New Business 2020).
To view the up-to-date opening dates, times and to book a table at each location, please visit: https://www.thecoconut-tree.com/.
In recent years, Sri Lankan food has been having a moment, with The Times identifying it as a new food trend, and BBC Food attributing its popularity to “most of the food world looking towards healthy living, meat free options and exciting new cuisines”.
The Coconut Tree’s take on the cuisine is made up of smaller tapas-style dishes cooked fresh to order – embracing plants, fish and meat, it’s a menu that naturally offers something for everyone.
Whilst curry dishes are featured, The Coconut Tree’s curries never use masala, lemongrass or other more typical Asian flavours, instead promising plates of flavourful food infused with authentic Sri Lankan spices.
Popular dishes include ‘Hot Battered Spicy Cuttlefish’; green peas and ‘Cashew Nuts’ soaked and cooked in coconut cream; and ‘Cheesy Colombo’ – cheese cubes fried and mixed Colombo style. ‘Jaffna Goat Curry with potato’ is also a firm favourite, as is the ‘Black Pork’ which consists of diced pork belly cooked in 30 roasted spices. Finally, ‘Kotthu’ is a fine example of a street food served all over the country – made with finely chopped rotti and cooked with egg, vegetables and / or meat.
In 2019, eminent food critic Jay Rayner visited the Cheltenham restaurant, citing a “raucous, rough-edged enthusiasm to the food” which manages “that rare trick of being totally laid-back and completely on point at the same time.”